Afrin, Two Years of Turkish Violations

Syrian human rights groups have accused the Turkish army and the opposition factions affiliated to it of committing hundreds of violations against Kurdish armed groups in northern Syria.

The groups described the Turkish presence in the Syrian north as direct occupation, pointing out that the Turkey-affiliated factions, for two successive years have been committing all kinds of violations against the residents of Afrin, such as looting, arrests and security breakdown, so that such practices became semi-daily crimes.

Besides, the groups accused Turkey of attempting to impose a demographic change in the city and reformulating the region in a way that meets the Turkish interests through deporting Syrian refugees from Turkey and resettling them in Afrin and other regions, controlled by the Turkish army.

Moreover, the groups accused Turkey of starting re-registration operation for the properties in Afrin, depriving the displaced Kurds of the ownership of their lands.

“The Turkish forces and their affiliated factions have begun statistics on the properties and the number of residents in each village, as well as their ethnicities; within the process of the demographic change process that Turkey conducts in the region,” the groups said, indicating that the Turkish practices in provoking the people has gone too far as they have looted the olive crops and the olive oil.

Furthermore, the groups have documented that the Ankara-backed factions imposed additional taxes on the Kurds since June 23, 2019, and that the faction “Ashmat” has forced the people of Darmashkanli village to offer food for the fighters regularly, under pretext of protecting them and their crops.

Although the same faction has confiscated the sumac crop in the village of Kakhira to sell it to merchants close to them and force the villagers to pay commission, according to Alhurra news outlet.

In 2018, the Turkish army launched the wide-scale operation Olive Branch against Kurdish militants in north Syrian, targeting their positions in Afrin near the Turkish-Syrian borders, and reaching areas in Aleppo’s countryside and in the west of Euphrates river.

In late 2019, the Turkish army, with the affiliation of several opposition factions, launched the operation Peace Spring in the east of Euphrates against the militants of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF.)

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